When working within collaborative teams it is both a natural occurrence and an intentional process to establish the norms for the team.
The norms are the guidelines within which the team will function to effectively reach its goals. It’s essentially establishing what Normal is for the team.
For example, I am currently part of a team in which we are preparing to do Knowledge Management work for a client. Some of the norms we have established for our team are weekly meetings on Tuesdays, 5pm-7pm, storing our meeting minutes and documents within a collaborative online software, and communicating with one another via text messages to inform one another of any last minute changes in schedules. These norms are what we have established and agreed upon as a team as to what would help us to be successful in our collaboration and working with our client.
Just as we establish norms within collaborative teams we can establish norms within our personal life; in particular when it comes to achieving goals. The most desirable goals are often the most challenging.
Following a consistent exercise program, declutter a closet, and starting a business are challenging feats; at least for me. However, they are not impossible to achieve.
What I’ve learned to be essential to achieving my goals and something that would assist you in the pursuit of yours is to:
“Make it the Norm in Your Mind First, Then It Won’t be so Bad”
Often what makes achieving our goals challenging is what we tell ourselves in regard to them. We may say things like:
- I can’t do that.
- I don’t have what it takes (i.e. resources, skills, money, education).
- There is not enough time.
- What if no one supports me?
- Will it be worth it?
Though these thoughts and fears may be valid they are contrary to the desired goal. They elicit an energy that is opposite that which you intend to achieve. They cause somewhat of a barrier between you and your goal like this
They cause your pursuit to be more challenging and burdensome than needed.
Yet to make something the norm is to see it as normal and as routine as brushing your teeth everyday. To make it the norm you can:
- Change your mindset: Create a visual picture in your mind. Envision yourself achieving your desired goal. What will it be like to achieve it? What does the process look like?
Change your language: Say to yourself, aloud, this is normal. This is something I must do. I can do this. I have what I need to get started. I have the skills and intellect to achieve my goal.
Prioritize and Sacrifice: With all of the responsibilities of life, adding the pursuit of your goals can seem like yet another item added to your to-do list for which you do not have time. However now is the time to prioritize your to-do list and make sacrifices in order to have time for your goals. So you may need to cut back on eating out or replace your tv time with time spent on your goals.
Take Incremental Steps: Know that the concept of an “overnight success” is a myth. True success comes by STARTING; then taking one step, after another. The key is not to eat the entire pie in one bite, but to take one bite at a time and savor the experience.
Be Consistent: Devote time and effort toward your goals on a steady and frequent basis. The momentum that consistency creates allows the pursuit to become Normal.
What is one thing that you need to make the norm? What steps can you take to make it normal?